Anna Karenina (2012)
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Academy Award® nominee Keira Knightley, Academy Award® nominee Jude Law and Aaron Taylor-Johnson dazzle in this stunning new vision of Leo Tolstoy’s epic love story. At the twilight of an empire, Anna Karenina (Knightley), the beautiful high-ranking wife of one of imperial Russia’s most esteemed men (Law), has it all. But when she meets the dashing cavalry officer Vronsky (Taylor-Johnson), there is a mutual spark of instant attraction that cannot be ignored. She’s immediately swept up in a passionate affair that will shock a nation and change the lives of everyone around her. From acclaimed director Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride & Prejudice) and Academy Award®-winning writer Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare in Love) comes this visually enchanting masterpiece hailed by critics as “ecstatic” (Time), “rapturous” (MSN Movies) and “a spectacle that has to be seen to be believed!” (The Huffington Post)
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 177
- Fresh: 112
- Rotten: 65
- Average Rating: 6.6/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Rotten: The metaphorical force of this conceit-insisting on the artifice of the social world that frowns on rapture-is not hard to grasp, but its frailty unsettles some of the actors.
Fresh: It's a half-success -- a baldly conceptual response to the Leo Tolstoy novel, with a heavy theatrical framework placed around the narrative of girl meets boy, followed by girl meets train.
Fresh: It's hard not to admire Wright's bold approach to Anna Karenina's story of longing and jealousy and societal condemnation.
Fresh: Thank goodness for Domhnall Gleeson's gentle turn as Oblonsky's friend Levin. The ginger-haired landowner is the movie's warmest figure.
Most people won't understand
This movie isn't for everyone. It's very stylized and abstract, and requires imaginative thinking to see the settings taking place. The concept of filming the movie in a theatre to depict Russian society is a unique one that I thought was achieved with grace, and was benefitial to the story.
Many people would not like this film, but then again, many people would not like the novel, either. But if you understand and appreciate the writing style, the filming style, and the concept, you will love it. It is truly a film for art lovers and those who enjoy subtlties in film and stories in general. It is a love story that achieves greatness through all the small, precious moments the characters share. It is also a great drama in the way your heroine really isn't a heroine. She is confused, self-destructive, paranoid, and cryptic, and I think Keira does a great job bringing the spirit of Anna to life.
It is a hard movie to fall into if you are not at all understanding of the very stylistic way in which it was made, and it is in no way a film for someone just wanting to watch a movie. It is intellectual, deep, and something to concentrate on, because if you don't pay attention as you should, you really won't understand what is going on.
This movie is brilliant.
Sad that most people won't see that.
This movie is incredible. I love the fact that it was shot in a theatrical way. The set and scenery was beautiful and the costume design is Oscar worthy. The movie stays true to the novel which I deeply appreciated . The dialogue was executed with perfection especially by Keira Knightly, Aaron Taylor Johnson and Jude Law. You should definitely give the movie a chance it's unique and beautiful.
It's no Atonement
The director has an original vision - stage the entire story of Anna Karenina on a stage. The effect he is going for is that of a Renaissance Masque, which is meant to draw the audience in & get them to feel as though they are participating in the story. But this theatrical structure is burdened with too many themes - at times it is an opera, at times it is a ballet, at times it is a comedy, & at all of the time it is tragic. The real tragedy is that the theatre set-up is abandoned at various points during the movie, which disables the structure of the entire film!
If you watch this movie, pay attention to Knightely and the other actors. Don't fault them for the director's mistakes